Media Theory (Formerly Media Studies: Ideas) is one of three required courses in the Master of Arts in Media Studies program.  It is designed to provide a context to the field and prepare students for further study of the many concentrations within media studies.  To achieve the fullest and richest orientation to the curriculum, the course should be taken concurrently with Understanding Media Studies and, for students matriculating full-time, with Media Design.

Media Theory presents and examines several of the main themes and ideas associated with the academic field and everyday practice of critical media study – – “Critical” – –  because our endeavor while witnessing and mapping these themes and ideas is motivated by a desire to question, critique and seek application to our current and future lived-experience of, with and through (our) media.

With concentration on current and fast-evolving media forms and our interactions with them, we explore writings and reflections that have come to provide a foundation to the field with with an emphasis on application to daily media experience.  Because media studies involves (and necessitates interactions between) a number of disciplinary influences, our readings and resources draw from cultural studies, sociology, philosophy.

To partner with our readings, we consider media examples pertinent to each week’s topics which we compile collectively, post in the class blog and present for reference and critique during class sessions.

In order to provide some categorical distinction to the wide range of materials we will examine, the course utilizes a taxonomy of media as technology, media as aesthetics and media as power (not necessarily in that order).  You will find that the labels often overlap and are charged with probing how and why.

Visit the Fall 2014 Course BlogFall 2012 Course Blog

See the Fall 2014 Course Syllabus